The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BACK TO SCHOOL (1986) ****

Caddyshack remains my favorite movie that Rodney Dangerfield was in but Back to School is my all time Rodney Dangerfield movie.  Even though he was great in Caddyshack, Dangerfield had to share the screen with Bill Murray and Chevy Chase and never really got a chance to truly grab the spotlight.  In his next film, Easy Money, Dangerfield gave another terrific performance and even though he was the star, the material wasn’t quite up to snuff with his manic persona.  With Back to School the writing was razor sharp, Dangerfield was at the top of his game, and he never fails to make the audience laugh with his unending parade of hilarious one-liners.  (“She gave great headache!”)


The plot (like it matters) has Dangerfield playing a millionaire entrepreneur (he owns a chain of Tall and Fat Clothing Stores) who keeps his son (Keith Gordon) from dropping out of college by enrolling himself.  Dangerfield parties it up and throws his money around a lot (He hires Kurt Vonnegut to write his paper on Kurt Vonnegut.) but eventually he has to start studying if he wants to stay in school.  He also finds time to romance his foxy literature professor (Sally Kellerman) and helps win the big diving meet.


Back to School is a quintessential 80’s movie and a perfect vehicle for Rodney.  You also get some great music from Oingo Boingo (“Dead Man’s Party”) and an awesome supporting turn by a young Robert Downey, Jr. in there as well.  There’s also a hilarious cameo by Sam Kinison who does his patented screaming shtick for maximum laughs.  But the movie though really belongs to Rodney.  While he may have claimed for years that he “got no respect”, this movie is such a classic that I have nothing but respect for the man.  Dangerfield has so many great lines in this flick that I had a hard time whittling the list down to just five of them.  Here without further ado, is the TOP FIVE RODNEY LINES FROM BACK TO SCHOOL: 


5.  “Why don’t you call me sometime when you have no class!”


4.  “Maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow!”


3.  “The best thing about kids is making them!”


2.  “You look like the poster boy for birth control!”


1.  “What’s a bath without bubbles?  Bubbles get over here!”


Back to School has enough belly laughs to earn its rightful spot at Number 8 on The Video Vacuum Top Ten of the Year for 1986 sandwiched in between Top Gun and House.

Tags: b, comedy
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